So, of no importance strategically. But of course there are other kinds of importance. Wells has an exquisite golden cathedral, made of stone from nearby Doulting. The west front is decorated with row upon row of statues: inside is the second oldest working clock in the world, glorious stained glass windows, an astonishing scissor arch and my particular favourite, the Chapter House, in which stone has been carved with the utmost grace and delicacy to create a room which seems designed to capture light and sound and peace. There's another, humbler treasure leading down from the Chapter House: a flight of stone steps sculpted by centuries of footsteps.
The museum, made of the same stone, is to the left of the cathedral across the green. Just outside it yet another piece of Doulting stone has recently appeared. It's not beautifully carved: it's rough-hewn, with a plaque set into it which explains that it commemorates Harry Patch. Harry became famous a few years ago. He was the last fighting Tommy: the last man alive who had fought in the First World War. He died in 2009 when he was 111.
Like many veterans, he never wanted to speak of his experiences. He was only finally persuaded to at the age of 100, when he was asked to share his memories in a TV documentary; he realised that he was one of only a handful left who was actually there: there was not much time left to bear witness, and he finally decided to talk.
And he broke his silence to great effect. For example:
"When the war ended, I don't know if I was more relieved that we'd won or that I didn't have to go back . Passchendaele was a disastrous battle - thousands and thousands of young lives were lost. It makes me angry. Earlier this year, i went back to Ypres to shake the hand of Herr Kuentz, Germany's only surviving veteran of the war. It was emotional. He is 107. We've had 87 years to think what war is. To me, it's a license to go out and murder. Why should the British Government call me up and take me out to a battlefield to shoot a man I never knew, whose language I couldn't speak? All those lives lost for a war finished over a table. Now what is the sense in that?"
He was honoured in many ways. In France, he was made an officer of the Legion D'Honneur. In Belgium, he became a Knight of the Order of Leopold. In England, Andrew Motion composed a poem in his honour which was set to music by Sir Peter Maxwell Davis. He collaborated in the writing of his autobiography, The Last Fighting Tommy, and gave the proceeds to the RNLI to fund a new lifeboat. He even inspired a song by Radiohead.
The exhibition was in his honour. So there were display boards telling his story - but there were also displays about the wartime experiences of lots of other local people - ordinary people, but all with stories to tell: like Heather, who at the age of six had a crush on a handsome young German prisoner of war, who made her a tiny bracelet out of coloured wire which she still has today. heather is a member of the writing class I teach, and she and others wrote down their stories for inclusion in the exhibition. There's an extract there too from the story I'm writing at the moment, about a prisoner of war - another ordinary young man to whom extraordinary things happened, about which, like Harry Patch, he never wanted to talk.
Just because a town's of no strategic importance, that doesn't mean to say it's not special. And just because a person thinks they're ordinary, it doesn't mean to say that they don't have a very special story to tell.